The Lancaster Health History Trail

Lancaster has a rich and fascinating history which includes a medieval leprosy hospital and one of the oldest surviving medical societies, the Lancaster and Morecambe Medical Society ( formerly the Lancaster Medical Book Club ), founded in 1823.

Join two of Lancaster’s senior surgeons on a new Health History Trail, designed to include the main features of this history and produced especially for this year’s Health Festival. Hear some of the medical stories associated with Lancaster’s landmark buildings and find out about some of Lancaster’s lost hospitals. Discover the true stories of Dr. Buck Ruxton, the GP convicted of a double murder, and James Case, the part-time surgeon hanged in Lancaster. The Trail will be illustrated by historical images.

Sturdy footwear required. Open air event so no masks needed but clothing suitable for the weather. Trail involves pavements, crossing roads and various slopes with a distance of approximately 1 mile. The Trail is wheelchair accessible but assistance is desirable.

1. Starts at junction of Castle Park / Castle Hill – at rear of the Storey building Notes: This was the site of Dr. Campbells house and early dispensary Point out entrance to Castle and former Shrigley and Hunt workshop

2. Cobbles opposite 19, Castle Hill Notes: Site of previous Dispensary ( blue plaque ) and Coade stone. Birthplace of Thomas Howitt jr.

3. Judges Lodgings Notes: County Assize courts. Murderers were dissected 1750 – 1832 ? at Dispensary. ‘Black assize’ of the Northern circuit. James Case, surgeon hanged in 1799. John Davies, medical student bodysnatcher convicted in 1828.

4. St. Leonardsgate junction with A6 – point out location of medieval Leprosarium

5. Moor Lane / Junction with Friar St. – point out Golden Lion pub

6. 7, Friar St. – house of birth of William Turner ( plaque ), surgeon and Edinburgh Professor

7. 2, Dalton Sq. – point out site of Dr. Buck Ruxton house and surgery

8. Sulyard St. / junction with Bulk Road – point out location of ‘House of Recovery’

9. 8, Dalton Sq. – old GP surgery

10. Centre of Dalton Sq, – Memorial statue with Lister, Owen and Turner featured

11. Thurnham St. – Site of Richard Owen birthplace

12. Thurnham St. – Site of Thurnham St Infirmary ( 1832 – 1894 ) then along George St / Penny St. to RLI

13. Finish at Med. Unit 1 – Old A&E and Coade St. plaque of Good Samaritan, Shrigley and Hunt stained glass windows etc.

The event is finished.


31 Jul 2021


2:00 pm